You don't need to look very far to find an example of bureaucracy gone mad in rural and regional areas, particularly when it comes to energy 'planning'.
For years now we've been told that coal-fired power generation is coming to an end, and we need to urgently build renewables to fill the gap.
But that's far easier said than done, and while some suburbanites have invested in solar panels and batteries for their homes, the vast majority are relying on the big energy companies to do that investment for them.
The catch is that it is not the urban communities who need to host these vast landscapes of wind turbines and solar panels, it is those in predominantly farming communities who are being forced to adapt.
Also read:Grain property offered with scale
Consider the outrage this week when a 16-metre-tall mobile phone tower was proposed for Manly. "What about our views?" they cried.
It's a long way from the reality faced by farmers who are looking at government plans to build 300 -metre-tall wind towers and 80-metre-tall transmission lines on their properties, seriously disrupting productivity if not outright destroying it in some cases.
This is the problem with the energy transition in a nutshell, a situation where 'out of sight, out of mind' means that farming communities can be bulldozed, dug up and turned on their heads so everyone else can feel good about 'doing their bit' for the planet.
Now we don't dispute the need for new sources of electricity, particularly at a time when the nation is burdened with rising household expenses and power bills.
What we're saying is that we need genuine consultation - indeed, collaboration - between governments, developers, and potential host communities so that everyone involved gets a good outcome.
Farmers are keen to be included in the conversation so we can help solve the problems before they arise, and we are inviting the Premier, his Ministers and top bureaucrats to come and see how energy and food and fibre can work together.
- By Xavier Martin, NSW Farmers president.